Well, it's no longer Thursday, but I have good reason for posting now: I just got back from the showing of the Candidate's Weekend 1 slide show. Candidates, remember those pictures and quotes you were asked to send in? Well, they have a few different purposes, but one is to allow the Olin community to get to know you. How excited were we to do so? Well, 150-200 people managed to cram themselves into a classroom just to catch a brief glimpse of your smiling faces. It was amazing. The energy here is off the charts.
I suppose, then, that this is the perfect environment for a confession: exactly one year ago when I was where the current candidates are now, I did not want to come to Olin. It was probably number four or five on my list. Really, it was free and it had a cool prospectus. That was about it. In fact, I woke up the friday morning of candidate's weekend and vividly remember telling myself "I know I'm going to Rice, but that doesn't mean I'm not here to win." That is, just because I wasn't interested in the school didn't mean I wasn't going to give this weekend my all.
Then a funny thing happened...
...Olin decided to give its all, too.
Somehow from the time I stepped on campus Friday afternoon to the time I left Saturday night, I knew that I had never wanted something so much and been so unsure of getting it as I was my admittance to Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. I could go into all the things that changed my mind and all the expereinces I managed to pack into less than 48 hours, but everyone gets something different out of Candidate's Weekend, and I don't want to spoil it for the class of 2011.
However, I will offer some quick advice: 1) The interview is the most boring part of your weekend. You may think that you can play the system and B.S. it, or you may be scared to death. Don't do either. This weekend is a time for you to get to know the college and for the college to get to know you. For the most part, it is clear who "fits" here and who doesn't. Just be honest, and if it is meant to be then it will happen, and if it's not, you probably wouldn't have been happy here anyway. If it's any consolation, I used 10 minutes of my interview asking the college interviewers why in the world I should go to Olin over my super-top-choice school, Rice. Again, it's a two-way street. 2) It's all about the people. The students you'll meet here are amazing. Use that time to have a snow fight (like I did) or play twister in an elevator (like many of my friends did). No one here has anything to prove, because if you try, you'll end up meeting someone who's built a quantum computer or something.
Finally, I have one last thing to say: Candidates, be on guard. When you're here, we'll be showing you every passion, personality, and quirk of this college. If you're not careful, you'll end up loving us more than you can imagine, and, trust me, that makes for some very hard April decisions.
-Jeff Moore, Olin College Class of 2010
These are pictures from my Candidate's Weekend. Now that I'm here, this one really doesn't surprise me anymore.
Our design build competition. (My team's is on the left. We called her the "Phil."). And no, you won't be building boats. Come on, it's called innovation.
This was my team. We stayed close through decision time, and still keep in touch. The three of us here are still really close, and are even doing a yearbook page together. I'm on the right. "Montana" Mike Hughes is next to me. Then Jetsada (now at Penn), Pam (who's here at Olin) and Jessie (now at Oberlin, though she deferred and may be back).
Also, funny story. Apparently, a lot of Olin Candidate's decide to take a side trip to MIT. In fact, I first met another good friend of mine on the 10:00 AM Friday MIT tour before the weekend started. She still doesn't remember that, which might explain the really weird look she gave me at CW when I yelled to her "Fancy meeting you here." Yea...good times.